What XAML Information Do You Need?

Request from Microsoft Press editor, Russell Jones

The last full book on XAML is now several years old. In the meantime, XAML has been expanded and modified in .NET 4. Moreover, the tools for creating XAML, primarily Expression Blend and the Visual Studio XAML editor, have considerably reduced--in some cases, eliminated--the need to write XAML by hand. Nonetheless, these editors don't do everything that a developer needs to do with XAML, nor can they help you create XAML programmatically.

So, what do you do with XAML on a daily or intermittent basis? Are the automated editors such as Blend sufficient for your needs, or do you often write, modify, or create XAML manually or programmatically? For those of you who do work with XAML all the time, would you prefer to have a comprehensive "developer's reference" type of book, one that explains every tag, its attributes, and their possible values, or would you rather have a book that largely starts where previous books left off--a book that provides some information for beginners, but concentrates on newer features and capabilities in XAML? What XAML information do you need?

Comments (10)
  1. Raymond says:

    I have been looking for a book just like this. I want to know the ins and outs of xaml as a language. The types, namespaces, databinding, where you code right in xaml and not in the behind file. How and when to use triggers. I want to now how to use just xaml.. if you write this book ill be the first to buy it.

  2. Maarten van Stam says:

    How about creating 'dynamic' dialogs and forms with XAML that you assembled based on database information. So depending on what is in the database your dialogs contains different information.

  3. Russell says:

    Raymond and Maarten: thanks for weighing in. I think the two posts here illustrate part of the problem we're facing. Raymond is looking for the XAML "deep dive," the ins and outs of XAML, while Maarten is really asking two questions: (1) How do you composite XAML programmatically to build dynamic UI, and (2) how do you bind data to a generated XAML-based UI. Those are wildly different needs. But I'm also sure that these aren't the only questions people have around XAML. What else do you need to know how to do or feel needs more detailed documentation?

  4. Edward says:

    I think it would be great to have a book without complicating xaml in silverlight, wpf, wcf and blend. Write it to dedicating xaml as a language as it is turning into. There is alot to xaml and it is hard to dive in and understand what you are doing and what are your limits.

  5. Steven Bone says:

    Russell – I believe that both Raymond and Maarten have exposed the things that are missing (or at least glossed over) in current texts.  I don't believe that they are wildly different needs – your point 1 is a precursor to point 2 – first dynamically generate the UI, and second to bind data to it.  Both are equally important in the applications that I need to build using XAML.

  6. Waheed Khalid says:

    I think we do need a 'reference type' of book. I am a developer and want to learn Silverlight and WPF, but I am finding it difficult to learn because of XAML, which is something completely new to me. So yes, such a book is needed as it would really help people wanting to learn Silverlight and WPF.

  7. Max says:

    I wouuld like a great reference book with examples and figures.

  8. Dirk Schuermans says:

    As a student & MSP, I'd love to have more of a reference type book.

    Books where they 'learn' you how to work with a certain language, they usually shove their way of 'how it's supposed to be done' down your throat.

    Hence with a reference book people can stick to their own ways and have their own way with it without having to follow someone elses. If you catch my drift..

  9. Ray says:

    Def a reference book! I wish it was published yesterday.

  10. Malcolm McCaffery says:

    Databinding with many examples different datatypes, example of file explorer with functionality similar to windows 7 explorer. And this scenario : I have WPF window in XAML with some image controls, I then need to programatically recreate this window on each monitor, and update images on each monitor.


    Malcolm (@Chentiangemalc)

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